MCMC wants sit-down with Google, Facebook to discuss restricting terror content

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 27 Nov 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) wants to meet United States-based social website owners to discuss closing down user accounts suspected of inciting violence and those offending racial and religious sensitivities.

Its chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi (pic)  said that the commission would be applying to Facebook and YouTube (which is owned by Google Inc) to close accounts or videos which have been investigated by Malaysian police for containing elements influencing Malaysians to participate in militant activities.

He said a special MCMC team would assist police to track down suspects attempting to create tension in the country with racial and religious issues.

"However, we can only apply to the site owners and the decision is theirs. The fact is we cannot restrict social media and the Internet," he said.

He was commenting on allegations that MCMC was slow when it came to closing and restricting accounts and videos that could threaten public order.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when tabling a White Paper on combating the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) in the Dewan Rakyat, appealed for the people's support in the Government's effort to curb the militant group ideology and proposed new laws to eradicate the involvement of Malaysians in militant and violent activities.

Mohamed Sharil said MCMC could not close specific individual accounts or restrict videos as the country would then have to block Facebook and YouTube access completely.

He said the action would not be in line with the national policy for Internet freedom and right to freedom of expression.

As such, he said the best move would be to educate the people in the country on smart Internet usage.

He was speaking at a 'Click Wisely' campaign at the Communications and Multimedia Ministry kiosk, set up in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly 2014 on level three of Putra World Trade Centre here from Nov 22 to 29.

"Information on the Internet is extremely wide and is difficult to control, so we are taking preventive measures by educating the people and parents how to control content at home to avoid the younger generation from being influenced by negative elements," he said.

He said the campaign would be conducted continuously as MCMC was confident prevention education is better than restricting Internet access. - Bernama

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